failed the upgrade-MPhil is offered


Hi people,
I am in my second year of PhD. I had the upgrade viva in which I was recommended to submit and MPhil. I was not prepared at all about this. I was in shock partly because of what I submitted got good feedback and partly because of my supervisors not giving me any warnings or signs (apart from: your analysis is taking long). I was judged by the examiners as not having the stats skills I should by now for carrying out a succesful PhD. At first (apart from being shocked and deeply sad), I refused to go for an MPhil. However, reading some of the forums' threads on this, doing a PhD has not been exciting for me- it has been very much viewed as a job. I guess that this is not necessarily the correct feeling for something like this.
I would like to hear some of your views on doing or doing an MPhil.What difference does it make in a cv for different jobs? And anything else that you think I need to think of.:-(


Just to rephrase and ask a few more things since I had no replies yet. I have decided to appeal-do you know the exact possible "bad" things that can come out from this and affect me? Also, has anyone gone for an MPhil? If yes, when did they find out that this was the case and what was the exact process? I have chosen a topic that is well researched but I had a population that is very unique and understudied. This was mainly the originality. Would you think that this would be a good enough argument for a PhD thesis? Also, aware that the roles of supervisors and students are unique for every single person, in general, what was your supervisor's contribution to identify weaknesses and act upon these to help you overcome them?

ps. I just realised that I have cited almost none of their work.How bad is this?(and I just realised the inadequacy of my supervisors):-(:$

Please any thoughts and opininos you can offer would be very helpful to me right now.


Hey Kk, I'm afraid I can't answer your question myself, but I remember a forum user a while ago who appealed and I think they won their appeal. I don't remember the details but perhaps someone else can? Or perhaps you can search for that thread? Best wishes, KB


Hi KK. This very thing happened to me. Granted, I’m sure our stories are different in some ways – I also have dyslexia which I have disclosed to my supervisors – but I too received no support or warning from my supervisor regarding my upgrade. For me, it was sprung up on me two days before it happened, and with no advice on what to prepare or do for the upgrade. Also, because of the disorganization of my department the whole situation took two and a half years from the first upgrading meeting to a (semi)resolution. (They happily continued to take my fees during the process.) My suggestion, take notes at EVERY meeting and even record the meetings if you can. Speak immediately with student support services; it is there job to speak on your behalf if necessary. And take it out of the department to the highest and most neutral authority. I had my complaint used against me as the people I appealed to in the department were life long friends with my supervisors. Also read your postgraduate handbook to know your rights and get a lawyer if necessary. Eventually I was given a new supervisor and asked to submit as an MPhil with the possibility of upgrading to a PhD once I’ve submitted that MPhil. I plan on pushing for an upgrade. Although this battle has been very difficult, tiring and has cost me a lot of research time. Not to mention, I now don’t have the best reputation with my department. (I no longer receive departmental emails and all teaching has been taken from me.) So, I’d only recommend appealing if you want your PhD very badly and you’re willing to fight for it. If you don’t think a PhD is something you want to do (and you have enough to submit as an MPhil fairly soon and with ease) then submit as an MPhil – or just leave and regain your life. Remember, academia is very inclusive and unless you have someone of relative importance on your side, a fight can be long and arduous. Good luck and I hope this helps. And remember, lack of university management does not note a lack of skills and ability on your part. Don’t let this get you down.


Hi kk
I'm with Chelleer on this one. If you read the many posts to this forum you;l quicky find out just how detrimental an effect a bad supervisor can have on you progression. I was 5 years in a PhD program only to have it torn from me after I submitted because of problems with the write up. I'm now writing up my MPhil with a view to contiuing elsewhere. This is manily because I feel that I need to get something out of all this work.
Also, I've read a lot of negativity about MPhil work. I consider it to be a serious body of work and demonstrates that you can work in this area. You need a decent supervisor that's all.
You can safely assume that 99% of supervisors are 1) Deeply egotistical and will do 'anything' to protect themselves, 2) are NOT on your side and 3) will gladly take any students money regardless of whether they can help or not. Be very careful and read the SU guidelines on your rights as a student, which I can tell you are very limited.

Academics need to take a close look at what they do from a consumer perspective. If they paid thousands for a service, we'd soon see how well they'd want to be treated and what's more, they would 'demand' a result not 'hope' for one.